Freestyle nationals: Peterson, Cook golden in aerials


Jeret "Speedy" Peterson made it two U.S. aerials titles in two years at Killington Resort while New England native Emily Cook also won her career second U.S. gold medal at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships.
    Versus will broadcast coverage of the U.S. champs Sunday, April 1, at 3 p.m. ET with the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge dual moguls at 4 p.m. ET, same day.
    Peterson slapped back a bit on his final jump, but his lead from the first round of jumping when he did a full, double-full, full (a quad-twisting-triple with four twists, three flips) at Bear Mountain, gave him his third U.S. title with 186.15 points.
    Silver medalist was Dylan Ferguson, who was also silver last week at Junior World Championships with 166.99 points and Zac Amidan, who had 166.52, was bronze medalist. Ryan St. Onge, expected to be Peterson's chief competition in the aerials meet, did not compete, nursing a sore back from World Championships earlier this month.
KILLINGTON, Vermont — Jeret "Speedy" Peterson made it two U.S. aerials titles in two years at Killington Resort while New England native Emily Cook also won her career second U.S. gold medal at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships.
    Versus will broadcast coverage of the U.S. champs Sunday, April 1, at 3 p.m. ET with the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge dual moguls at 4 p.m. ET, same day.
    Peterson slapped back a bit on his final jump, but his lead from the first round of jumping when he did a full, double-full, full (a quad-twisting-triple with four twists, three flips) at Bear Mountain, gave him his third U.S. title with 186.15 points.
    Silver medalist was Dylan Ferguson, who was also silver last week at Junior World Championships with 166.99 points and Zac Amidan, who had 166.52, was bronze medalist. Ryan St. Onge, expected to be Peterson's chief competition in the aerials meet, did not compete, nursing a sore back from World Championships earlier this month.
    "I'm really excited. I wasn't planning on going for the 'Hurricane' [five twists, three flips — the most difficult jump in aerials], but I need to get as many of these under my belt as I can," said Peterson, the 2005 World Cup champion who finished No. 2 in aerials standings on the World Cup. At Utah's Deer Valley Resort in January, he nailed the Hurricane in a snowstorm and set records for highest points on one jump (140.38) and for a World Cup contest (268.70).

Peterson, coach agree
    Coach Matt Christensen chuckled at Peterson's reflection on defending the title he won a year ago when the Sprint U.S championships came to Killington for the first time. "I knew he'd say that, but he doesn't back down. And there's a big crowd here and he loves to put on a show." The gasps and ovation from the crowd of hundreds at the base of Bear Mountain were their own reward.
    "I wasn't going to go for it but I talked with my head coach, Matt, and we decided it would be the best thing for me to do," Peterson said.
    "That wasn't the jump I was looking for, by any means, but it worked …
    "Killington's a great hill. They take care of us and make it a great jumping venue. And the crowd has been great both years, too. When it's warm, the snow gets really soft — anywhere we compete it's that way — and that makes it difficult to jump, but you have to take it as it comes," Peterson said.
    The first round of jumping began at midday in bright sunshine but about halfway through the women's second round, the lights went out. Clouds rolled in and the competitors jumped in flat light, making it tricky — even with all the pine boughs course workers threw onto the snowy slope to help athletes spot the landing.
    "It ended up being pretty good. They did a great job with the venue," Christensen said. "I'm psyched for Emily — her personal best score, 185 points, and then the men had it a little tougher. But it was good for Speedy to get another quint [five twists] under his belt in competition."

Cook at home in New England
    Earlier, in the women's competition, Cook had 185.04 points for a full, double-full (three twists, two flips) and full, full (two twists, two flips) with near-perfect landings. Second place went to Lacy Schnoor at 146.59 while Jaime Myers earned the bronze medal with 143.39 points.
    An enthusiastic delegation from the Boston area cheered Cook's performance; her previous title came in 2001 at Waterville Valley, N.H. "Yeah, I love competing in New England. I really do,' said Cook, who graduated from Maine's Carrabassett Valley Academy. "It's so good to be back … and Killington gave us another beautiful event."
    She had to compete in the tricky, flat light conditions but, calling on the experience of the 2006 Olympics and three World Championships plus the World Cup, she was calm. "I think it may have been a little more difficult for the men because the wind picked up, but we've always got some kind of conditions to deal with, and you have to do the best you can.
    "We rely on our coaches a lot to help us set our speed and to make the right call when we're in the air. My coaches, Matt and Curdog [2002 Olympian Brian Currutt], are amazing. They're so good. They set my speed and I trust their call, so then I can go do my jump."
    Cook said taking down time during the season to rest a back problem, and then returning in time for the World Championships two weeks ago — where she was sixth, has her energized instead of being tired as the season ends. She and Schnoor will be training together early in the preseason to get a jump on next season, she said.
    The Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge on Sunday, featuring dual moguls at Bear Mountain, will be the final event of the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships.


2007 SPRINT U.S. FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Bear Mountain – Killington Resort
Killington, Vt. – March 24, 2007
Men's aerials
1. Jeret Peterson, Boise, ID, 186.15 points
2. Dylan Ferguson, Amesbury, MA, 166.99
3. Zac Amidan, Ogden, UT, 166.52
4. Scotty Bahrke, Tahoe City, CA, 162.26
5. Matt Flesher, Chagrin Falls, OH, 148.65
6. Matthew Depeters, Hamburg, NY, 143.14
7. Ross Falcone, Ketchum, ID, 138.20
8. Evan Kreps, Lakeside, MT, 124.54
9. Lucas Constenius, Whitefish, MT, 121.93
10. Tim Chamberlain, Waitsfield, VT, 112.64

Women's aerials
1. Emily Cook, Belmont, MA, 185.04
2. Lacy Schnoor, Draper, UT, 146.59
3. Jaime Myers, Boise, ID, 143.39
4. Allison Treleaven, Fort Wayne, IN, 121.25
5. Allison Lee, Manchester, CT, 112.62
6. Sarah Goldman, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 112.47
7. Sami Palmer, Sandy, UT, 106.71
8. Katie Sciuto, Park City, UT, 101.53
9. Rachel Hatch, Park City, UT, 99.50
10. Siena Palmacci, Park City, UT, 89.37

Click here for complete results.

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